Demetrio Julián Santiago Castilllo


Demetrio J. Santiago is a postdoctoral researcher focused on cellular biophysics and the role of the ryanodine receptor 2 (a protein essential to the heartbeat) on cardiac physiology and disease. He obtained his Bachelor´s degree in Biology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Soon after, he started his Ph.D. at Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, USA), under the co-mentorship of Professors Thomas R. Shannon and Eduardo Ríos. His thesis project focused on how beta-adrenergic stimulation increases the diastolic activity of the ryanodine receptor 2, and how such activity modification contributes to the hearbeat (in healthy situations) and cardiac arrhythmias (during disease).

As a postdoc, and under the mentorship of Professor Montserrat Samsó (Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA), Demetrio J. Santiago focused on the structural basis of the topic above: he studied how the ryanodine receptor 2 structure is modified by beta-adrenergic receptor-mediated phosphorylation, thus leading to a more active protein during diastole.

His next postdoc was in the laboratory of Professor Karin R. Sipido (Katholieke Universiteit  Leuven, Leuven, Belgium), where he focused on the impact of cellular remodeling (both structural and functional) that occurs soon after ischemic heart disease with myocardiac infarction.

He currently studies inherited cardiac arrhythmias and their potential targeting via gene therapy at the Molecular Cardiology laboratory at CNIC institute (Madrid), led by Professor Silvia G. Priori, where he incorporated on July 2016.